20 Clever Slogans That WorkedNatalia Persin
Coming up with a snappy slogan isn’t easy. People come into contact with such a huge number of advertisements and marketing materials that the odds of any individual slogan sticking out in their mind are slim to none.
Slogans are a crucial part of branding because they’re usually the first interaction people have with a brand alongside logos. Creatives in marketing and branding have put countless hours toward the study of what makes slogans appealing to the public in a way that will entice them to make a purchase later.
One of the best ways to study slogans is to read the ones that worked. We’ve compiled this list of memorable and effective slogan examples to spark your creativity and help you write your own snappy slogans and branding taglines.
Taglines vs. Slogans
Many people confuse these two marketing tools because they have a similar function. But slogans communicate a company’s mission statement within the context of a particular product while taglines describe the brand itself. As such, branding taglines tend to stick around for much longer than slogans.
Some of the most famous slogans are actually branding taglines. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” for a great example. It doesn’t tell you what the company does at all, but when you see or hear that phrase, your mind immediately goes to Nike.
What Makes a Great Slogan?
Different marketing professionals will have differing opinions on what a great slogan should be. But there are some things that just about everyone agrees on. Here are some factors most great slogans share.
- It Stands Out
Not only should creative slogans attract attention against the milieu of competing advertisements, but they should also be easy to recall. That’s why so many of them are so brief. Although at least one study found that brevity had no effect on a slogan’s likeability, a short slogan is more likely to be memorable.
Many brands have had great success with slogans that stand out for honesty, edginess, or going against the current. Understand the zeitgeist and you can use it to write a slogan that will stand out. Think about a brand that can effectively use nostalgia or traditional values in a market that’s otherwise flooded with images of modernity and robots, for instance.
- It Illustrates the Brand
The best slogan examples can communicate the most significant characteristics of the product they’re describing. Is it the most affordable shoe, the most durable camping gear, or a dependable brand of car insurance? Whatever advantage the product has over the competition should be highlighted by the slogan.
- It Encourages Emotional Connection
People remember the emotions they felt when they first encountered a brand. Alright, you probably won’t be moving anyone to tears. But you can probably make them feel relieved, at ease, or even just amused. Even if people forget the actual words of the slogan until they see them again, that emotional attachment will remain and draw them toward your brand.
Most branding messages including creative slogans and branding taglines tap into emotions that people already have in their lives. This isn’t meant to be manipulative – rather, it demonstrates how the brand can fit in with what they already experience in their day-to-day existence.
An honest emotional connection is the fastest way to branding authenticity. But if you overreach you could tarnish the brand image beyond repair.
- It Shows Off The Brand’s Personality
Brand personalities are often measured in five categories: sincerity, competence, excitement, ruggedness, and sophistication. Your slogan should demonstrate which one of these is most integral to the brand identity. That being said, a blend of two or more of these categories may be on-brand as well.
- It Should Be Memetic
We are undeniably in the online age and nothing demonstrates that more clearly than the popularity of memes. People mimic and alter everything from screen grabs to movies and advertising materials are no different.
The thing a lot of marketing professionals miss about memes is that they don’t have to be at the expense of the brand. They often are when the brand is off the mark or tries to include topical or social topics within the branding, but if that error is not committed then spreading as a meme will only help solidify brand awareness.
It’s almost impossible to say what will catch on and what won’t. All you can do is make sure the slogan itself is brief and memorable enough that people who come across it will be encouraged to play with it in meme form. Even if that just means altering the words to make a pun, that counts as brand interaction.
20 Creative Slogans That Worked
Here are some of the most well-known slogans that are still recognizable today. Use them as inspiration next time you need to come up with a catchy slogan.
1. Old Spice: “Smell Like a Man, Man”
The 2010 ad campaign for Old Spice was tremendously popular because of the humor with which it approached its intended audience, who as you can probably tell is primarily male.
Other funny one-liners from the campaign include “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and an updated “Smell Like Your Own Man, Man” slogan for a variety of new scents later on.
2. MasterCard: “There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy. For Everything Else, There’s MasterCard.”
A meme before memes were widespread, the second half of this slogan was applied to a wide swath of situations besides purchases.
3. Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”
Maybe the creatives behind this slogan were up a bit too long trying to invent something. Whatever the evolution story behind it was, the public ate it up. The nine-year-old video currently has 27 million views on YouTube.
4. Coca-Cola: “It’s The Real Thing”
Paired with a famous music video for the 1971 song “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” this slogan emphasized the desire for authenticity that was becoming apparent for the first time when the ad campaign started in 1969.
5. Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs On Dunkin’”
The internal rhyme in this statement makes it catchy and it connects with a positive feeling Americans have about being productive in their working lives. Whatever kind of work you do, the image of a hot cup of coffee perking you up so you can work alert is enticing and likely to drive you to stop by a Dunkin’ Donuts when you’re headed to your job. Best of all, it was easily changed to appeal outside the US as well: “The World Runs On Dunkin’.”
6. Lay’s: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One”
Spurring kids and adults alike to give it a try, this challenging slogan illustrates the tastiness of Lay’s potato chip products in a unique format. Imagine how disastrous it would have been if the chips were subpar, though. “Betcha I can” is a ready-made response.
7. Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper”
Branching out a bit beyond the scope of traditional grammar, Bounty’s marketing team crafted this punchy and effective slogan that perfectly encapsulates what their flagship product is supposed to do. It cleans up messes quickly and their slogan says just that.
8. Red Bull: “Red Bull Gives You Wings”
A well-known campaign of animated commercials repopularized this slogan in the late naughties, but it was actually invented in the 80s by the company’s founder. Red Bull has one of the largest energy drink market shares in the world and this slogan is still well-known. But let it be a cautionary tale as well: in 2014, Red Bull settled a lawsuit for false advertising out of court for the hefty price tag of $14 million.
9. Subway: “Eat Fresh”
There is perhaps no better example of brevity in advertising than this slogan from 2000. Subway had a few memorable slogans that aimed to illustrate different parts of the brand. The phrase “$5 Footlong” and perhaps the jingle that accompanied it are likely still stuck in the minds of a significant percentage of the American public.
10. Visa: “It’s Everywhere You Want To Be”
Echoing the popular slogan of its competitor MasterCard somewhat, this Visa slogan is targeted at a specific feature of Visa’s line of cards. They can be used anywhere. The prescience of this slogan is that it can be expanded upon. Visa is still using it as a central branding image today, which is pretty impressive when you realize they started using it in 1985.
11. Goldfish: “The Snack That Smiles Back”
A perfect illustration for a simple product. It’s pleasant and it’s a literal description of the snack cracker, which does indeed sport a small grin on each fish-shaped piece. It fits into a jingle and it’s short enough to put on packaging, so it’s a very versatile slogan.
12. The Oscar Meyer Weiner Song
Richard Trentlage came up with these lyrics in about an hour back in 1963. We know, we know – this is really a jingle, not a slogan. But because it has so clearly stood the test of time it holds its place on this list simply because it manages to be evocative on an emotional level without actually revealing anything about the product.
The spiritual successor, the 1974 “My Bologna Has a First Name” song, is perhaps as memorable as the first. Listen to them both and all you truly know is that Oscar Meyer sells hot dogs and bologna. Perhaps you don’t need to know much more than that to pick their products out at the grocery store.
13. Kay Jewelers: “Every Kiss Begins With Kay”
Another deceptively simple slogan, this one was paired with a tune and was nearly ubiquitous on American televisions and radios in the nineties and 2000s. The company itself is 105 years old, so having that kind of contemporary recognition is nothing short of admirable from a marketing perspective.
14. Wendy’s: “Where’s the Beef?”
One of the most directly confrontational slogans of all time, Wendy’s started challenging other fast-food chains with this question in 1984. It might seem like little more than a hype campaign because of all the attention it got, but Wendy’s was actually addressing a real issue with this one.
Chains like McDonald’s and Burger King got customers’ attention with double and triple-patty burgers, advertising with names like the still-famous Big Mac and Whopper. Wendy’s didn’t have any such specialty sandwiches in the early eighties. But their single patty sandwiches did contain more meat.
This is one of the most instructive slogan examples out there. If you can’t think of a new angle for branding, you need to reassess the product and all of its characteristics.
15. Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority: “What Happens Here, Stays Here”
While it is extremely well-known and worked wonders, the most important thing about this slogan is actually how it was updated in 2020. Sin City originally wanted to advertise that people could expect a degree of secrecy for whatever escapades attracted them to the place. Gambling and dance revues had and still have a degree of societal disapproval and Las Vegas was smart to own it rather than try to hide it.
But in 2020 it became apparent that Las Vegas wanted to change its image to a more family-friendly one. Their new slogan is “What Happens Here, Only Happens Here.” It’s a nice acknowledgment of the legacy slogan but allows for an appeal to a wider audience.
16. Chick-Fil-A: “Eat Mor Chikin”
The slogan itself is so direct it would be almost insulting without the accompanying cows and their trademark inability to write correctly. It’s a great campaign idea that highlights the most unique aspect of the brand: they don’t sell beef. Taken as a whole, this is one of the most creative slogans and campaign pairings ever made.
17. Airbnb: “Belong Anywhere”
When Airbnb first started, its purpose was to give people the ability to stay with locals. They offered this as an option directly opposed to hotels. But when the brand realized that people were actually renting apartments and houses without necessarily being present, they changed to this slogan. It still gives an image of a comfortable home wherever you travel, which is exactly what a service like Airbnb wants to promote.
18. L’OREAL: “Because You’re Worth It”
There’s no better way to promote brands with a luxury characteristic than to tell people that it would just be well-earned opulence. For many women in the early 70s, spending more money on makeup was out of the question. But L’OREAL was able to convince them that they should because the results were superior to using products from the competition.
When they wanted to promote a line of L’OREAL Kids Shampoo, the company wisely went with the slightly altered slogan “Because We’re Worth It, Too.” This was particularly effective for the youth of 1971 who had begun having their own kids around the time of this updated slogan in the 1990s.
19. Pokemon: “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”
Anyone who played this world-famous game when it first started can appreciate the challenge in its slogan. If you had to sum up the entire point of the game as succinctly as possible, this slogan is exactly how you would do it. Plus, it’s short enough to fit into the theme song of the television show.
20. Energizer: “It Keeps Going, and Going, and Going…”
Perhaps it was the repetition that made this slogan so effective. It arguably works better for television and radio than for print, but pair it with an illustrative mascot like the pink Energizer bunny and you’re in business.
Like many of the other effective slogan examples in this list, this one is straight to the point and clearly demonstrates what the public should know about this brand. They’re batteries and they last a long time, just like you want them to.
The key to success with creative slogans and branding taglines could be brevity and it could be wit. But as you can see from the slogan examples in this guide, there’s something beyond these factors that makes for a highly memorable and effective slogan.
Understand the product and demonstrate what about it should appeal to the people who might see it in the store later. Tie the brand in with an emotion that people are familiar with and you’ll create the conditions for them to recall it later even if they can’t remember the exact words of the slogan itself.
Next time you’re having trouble thinking of a strong slogan, read through the examples in this guide for some inspiration. Pair it with a strong marketing campaign and you’ll be able to build brand loyalty and drive people to the product in droves.